Log in Join Grass Roots Action

FSIS Issues Draft Label Policy Guidance for N-60 E. coli O157:H7 Testing Claims

Thursday, October 16, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a draft guidance to the industry on the use of labels bearing an FSIS-approved N-60 E. coli O157:H7 testing claim. Such special label claims are voluntary. An establishment may use such claims when it demonstrates such E. coli O157:H7 testing claims are truthful and not misleading. FSIS needs to approve such claims before the establishment can use them on labeling.

FSIS allows the use of labels that contain special claims (e.g. instructional and disclaimer statements for E. coli O157:H7) under certain conditions. In order to provide receiving establishments ─ particularly small and very small plants ─  with information about the HACCP system and testing done at the supplier establishment, the Labeling and Program Delivery Division (LPDD) has developed a N-60 testing claim guidance. This labeling claim is intended to provide the receiving establishment with this information in lieu of Certificates of Analysis (COAs) that may not properly transfer with product through distributors. This claim asserts that the raw beef component has been produced under an integrated control program between the slaughter/dressing operation and the trim production operation and tested for the presence of E. coli O157:H7 using a particular sample method (e.g., N-60 sampling). Labels bearing this claim would not be approved for products sold at retail or directly to consumers.

 FSIS is providing these draft compliance guides for review and comment. All stakeholders are encouraged to submit their comments to FSISGuidanceDocumentComments@fsis.usda.gov. Comments will be accepted until November 17, 2008.

 share on facebook  share on twitter